Mentoring for Budding Electricians


GOTAFE Electrical Apprentices now have access to a two year mentoring and support program thanks to the National Electrical and Communications Association (NCEA).
NECA, along with the Federal Government’s Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA) have developed a specific two year Apprenticeship Mentoring Support program for GOTAFE Electrical Apprentices.

A Grade Electrician Adam Waterhouse from NECA, will act as a Mentor for students. Once an apprentice himself, Mr Waterhouse understands the challenges that come along with an Apprenticeship.
“You’ve got your TAFE teachers, your TAFE classmates but other than that you may only have your family to talk to and they might not have an insight into Apprenticeships.
“This program is designed to be an extra resource for Apprentices, someone who understands what it’s like being an Apprentice and who can answer any questions.
“Not all Apprentices make it through to be fully qualified, so hopefully the Mentoring program will assist students to work through the issues they come across during their Apprenticeships”

The NECA Mentoring Program includes:
• developing relationships with apprentices
• personalised meetings
• keeping apprentices informed about opportunities relating to their apprenticeship
• liaison with registered training organisations regarding training
• providing support and advice
• being available to talk to apprentices and trainees about any issues they are having.

As well as providing targeted mentoring and assistance, the mentoring program will support employers, many of whom do not have the time or experience to manage all of the issues that arise for apprentices.

NECA is hoping to see a reduction in the number of students who drop out of their Apprentices halfway through due to stress and other related pressures.
Allan McLean, GOTAFE Electrical Team Leader, believes this program will be very beneficial, not only for students but also the businesses they work for.
“Many of our Apprentices work for owner operators and those folk are very busy and are often time poor. When their Apprentices are at work, it’s the job they are focussed on, not necessarily discussing their day to day progress through the Apprenticeship”

For more information on NECA and the Apprenticeship Support Mentoring program, visit https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/programs/industry-specialist-mentoring
For more information about becoming an Electrical Apprentice or to find out more about employing one, contact GOTAFE on 1300 GOTAFE (468 233), visit www.gotafe.vic.edu.au or email enquiry@gotafe.vic.edu.au

Mum of two ‘sparky’ beats the odds


Like many mums, Tracey Milthorpe decided to re-enter the workforce when her two children were both at school. However, Tracey didn’t consider the ‘usual’ return work occupations, choosing instead to commence her career in a male dominated industry.

She enrolled in an electrical pre-apprenticeship at GOTAFE to get a taste of the electrical industry and make sure that it was the profession she wanted to commit to. Tracey is now a third year electrical apprentice, currently completing Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811).

“I decided to start my electrical apprenticeship as I wanted to do a trade that would keep my mind occupied, I also wanted to do something that wasn’t too physically demanding but still had a moderate physical labour aspect, I like to get my hands dirty, so to speak,” said Tracey.

“I really enjoy it and my family and friends are very supportive.

“My family love the idea that I’m a ‘sparky’ and that I’m doing something against the odds.

“The Trainers are very knowledgeable and supportive and the facilities are great.

“GOTAFE is where I felt I was most comfortable and where I felt I could complete my studies to the best of my ability.”

Tracey believes you have to keep an open mind when working in a male dominated industry.

“I get a few people who look at me twice as I am female, but generally people think it’s great that I’m out there having a go,” she said.

“I’m not there to step on anyone’s feet.  I just want to learn as much as I can.”

For other girls who are looking at entering a Technical Trade, she says ‘go for it’ or if you are unsure, do a bit more research before you decide to commit.

“Talk to people, talk to me,” she said.

“There are pre-apprenticeships and other studies available, they give you a taste of the various industries out there.

“Honestly, you will never know until you try it”.

GOTAFE Student Named Apprentice of the Year


The Apprenticeship Factory held its annual Apprentice of the Year awards event last night at the GV Hotel, Shepparton. GOTAFE Apprentice Kain Loveday was announced as the 2016 Barry Franklin Apprentice of the Year.

Fourth year Electrical Apprentice Kain Loveday studies at the GOTAFE Wangaratta Campus and is employed by Roy Lopez Electrical in Alexandra.

Described as a highly valued student, The Apprenticeship Factory have been impressed with his attitude towards his work.

“He is prepared to work long hours and is willing to assist his employer in any way he can.”

Having now completed his A grade exams, Kain would like to complete a Diploma in Electrical Engineering.

With over 8 categories of awards presented and 24 Apprentice’s vying for the major award, the event showcased the achievements of Apprentices from across the region.

GOTAFE is proud to sponsor this event and congratulates all involved.

Lady Tradies – Tracey Milthorpe


Tracey first began with a pre-apprenticeship course at Gotafe to see if the Electrical Industry was what she wanted to commit to and with her two children both in school, it was a little easier for her to start full time work.

“I decided to start my apprenticeship as I wanted to do a trade that would keep my mind occupied and something that wasn’t too physically demanding but still had a moderate physical labour aspect and I like to get my hands dirty, so to speak.”

“I really enjoy it and my family and friends are so very supportive.  They love the idea that I’m a ‘sparky’ and that I’m doing something against the odds.”

Tracey Milthorpe is in her third year of study towards a Certificate III in Electrotechnology.

Having completed her Certificate II with Gotafe, it made sense to continue on from there.

“The teachers are very knowledgeable and supportive and the facilities are great.  Gotafe is where I felt I was most comfortable and I could complete my studies to the best of my ability.”

Tracey believes you have to keep an open mind when working in a male industry.

“I get a few people who look twice as I am female, but generally people think it’s great that I’m out there having a go.  I’m not there to step on anyone’s feet.  I just want to learn as much as I can.”

For other girls who are looking at entering a Technical Trade, she says ‘go for it’ or if you are unsure, do a bit more research before you decide to commit.

“Talk to people, talk to me. There are pre-apprenticeships and other studies available to give you a taste of the industries.  Honestly, you will never know until you try it.”